Descent of the Holy Spirit on the Apostles
Tropar Of Pentecost, Tone 8:
Blessed art Thou, O Christ our God, Who hast shown forth the fishermen as supremely wise, by sending down upon them the Holy Spirit, and through them, didst draw the world into Thy net. O Lover of mankind, glory be to Thee.
Kondak Of Pentecost, Tone 8:
Once, when He descended and confounded the tongues, the Most High divided the nations; and when He divided the tongues of fire, He called all men into unity; and with one accord we glorify the All-Holy Spirit.
Tropar - Tone 4
With thy virtues, as with the rays of the sun, thou didst enlighten the unbelieving philosophers; and like the most radiant moon shining on those who walk at night, thou didst drive away the darkness of unbelief. Thou didst bring the empress to faith and didst denounce the tyrant, O divinely elect bride. O blessed Catherine, with desire thou didst make haste to the heavenly bridal chamber, to Christ the most comely Bridegroom, and by Him has thou been crowned with a royal crown. Standing with the angels before Him, do thou pray for us who keep thy most honored memory.
Kondak - Tone 2
O ye who love the martyrs, raise up an honored chorus in godly manner; honoring the most wise Catherine; for in the arena she preached Christ and trod upon the serpent, putting down the knowledge of the rhetors.
Saturday - Vigil at 5pm.
Sunday - Divine Liturgy in English at 10am
Sunday - Akathist Hymn and Hours at 915am
Other services as scheduled below
Inquirers most welcome!
2198 NE Coachman Rd Unit D, Clearwater FL 33765
"If you only knew how great a blessing comes from the Divine Liturgy, then you would collect even the dust from the floor of the church to wash your faces with it..."
St. Gabriel the Confessor and fool for Christ
His Eminence Nicholas
Metropolitan of Eastern America and New York
First Hierarch of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia
Christ is in our midst!
The most precious and challenging time of the year is upon us. The great fast, which prepares us to celebrate the Passion of our Lord Jesus Christ, is just 4 weeks away.
This fast is called the great fast because it is stricter. The services themselves are changed during the fast. They are longer. We read more from the Psalms. We do full prostrations. As we learned last week from Zacchaeus, we must have a desire to make a concerted effort to encounter Christ.
The fast is so significant for our life in Christ that the Holy Fathers have ordained 4 weeks in preparation for it. Each week has a purpose, a lesson to instruct us for the coming fast so that we may all the more benefit from it.
The first week in the Sunday of the Publican and Pharisee; the second - the Sunday of the Prodigal Son; the third - the Sunday of the Terrible Judgment; and the fourth - the Sunday on which commemorate our forefather Adam being driven out of Paradise. On this day we celebrate vespers, at which time the fast begins. It is accompanied by the rite of forgiveness. Thus this Sunday is also know as the Sunday of Forgiveness.
We also have 2 Saturdays of note: Memorial Saturday, the day before the Sunday of the Terrible Judgment, on which we pray for all those who have fallen asleep in the Lord. This is also repeated on the 2nd, 3rd and 4th Saturdays of the fast. The other is the Saturday before the fast, know as the Saturday of the Ascetic Fathers. We ask their prayers for our upcoming struggle and use their example to guide and inspire us.
I say these things because now is the time to mentally and spiritually prepare for the fast. It is not something put off to the last minute. Even now we can add a bit to our prayer rule - or make a greater effort to keep it. We can begin to eat a bit less or even less often. This is good because the fast begins with utmost strictness and is a difficult shock if not prepared for.
I will speak of the meaning of each Sunday in at the Liturgy. It is important to come to the church to be nourished, to be comforted, to be invigorated. By this I mean that, while it is important to come to the Divine Liturgy, it is no less important to attend the Vigil to prepare for the Divine Liturgy.
This coming week is a fast-free week, lest we boast like the Pharisee: I fast twice a week… This does not mean that we overindulge in food like Westeners do with their impious carnival. It is meant to teach us moderation, humility and contrition.
May God’s blessing be with you all.
Saturday. February 24 - Confession at 430pm. Vigil at 5pm.
Sunday, February 25 - The Sunday of the Publican and the Pharisee. St. Alexius, Metropolitan of Moscow and all Russia. Akathist Hymn at 915am. Hours and Divine Liturgy. Fast free week.
Saturday, March 2 - Vigil at 5pm.
Sunday, March 3 - The Sunday of the Prodigal Son. Akathist Hymn at 915am. Hours and Divine Liturgy.
Thursday, March 7 - Vigil at 6pm.
Friday, March 8 - The First and Second Finding of the Honorable Head of the Holy Glorious Prophet, Forerunner and Baptist of the Lord, John. Hours and Divine Liturgy at 830am. Vespers and Matins at 6pm.
Saturday, March 9 - Memorial Saturday. Hours and Divine Liturgy at 830am. Confession at 430pm. Vigil at 5pm.
Sunday, March 10 - The Sunday of the Dread Judgement (Meatfare). Akathist Hymn at 915am. Hours and Divine Liturgy.
Monday, March 11 - White Fast all week. No meat until Pascha.
If you live in the greater Tampa Bay area and are interested in Orthodoxy or would like to help in establishing a traditional Orthodox parish in English
please call Fr. Stephen Zaremba 727-239-9186 and leave a message or e-mail me at email@example.com.
I'd love to hear from you!
Thanks be to God our community is slowly growing. Since our ways are not God’s ways we are traversing an unexpected path, currently serving at our new location as St. Catherine's Orthodox Church. Our previous location was at St. Andrew’s Russian Orthodox Church in St. Petersburg, and it proved quite beneficial for both our St. Catherine’s Mission and the St. Andrew’s parish. Having moved to our new parish in late October, it is more than apparent that God’s providence is truly remarkable.
First a quick word about our past host parish, St. Andrew’s. It is a Russian speaking community. The church is beautiful, the choir is excellent, the services served properly. While most of the vigil and Sunday Divine Liturgy are celebrated in Church Slavonic, English is used based on attendance. The Epistle and Gospel are always read in English and there is sermon in English. If you are familiar with the Divine Liturgy you will feel very comfortable. We are extremely blessed and thankful for our past time at St. Andrew's. Fr. Igor and the parishioners of St. Andrew’s have made us feel quite welcome indeed,
We previously celebrated the Divine Liturgy in English on Saturdays at St. Andrew's, followed by a Bible Study and lunch. This started off as quite a small group but it has grew so that we usually had about 20 or more stay for our class. Not bad for a Saturday morning!
Currently, we celebrate the Divine Liturgy in English on Sundays, which is again, followed by a Bible Study and lunch.
Fr. Stephen Zaremba
We are a mission. Our purpose is to make traditional, apostolic Christianity, today known as Orthodoxy, available to those who are seeking it. Many are seeking it not quite knowing what it is. If you are looking for God - look here. If you are looking for stability, where doctrines do not change with the blowing of the wind - look here. If you want to truly learn how to worship in the spirit and truth as taught by the holy Apostles - look here. If you are are not sure just what it is that you are looking for - look here. We don’t make things up as we go and we don’t change with the times. Truth is truth. Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today and forever.
The world is going through a time of considerable turmoil. No one knows what the future holds. The Orthodox Christian Faith has withstood the bloody persecutions of ancient Rome, the tribulation of the Arian, Iconoclastic and other heresies, the onslaught of the Persians and Moslems, Communism and everything else that the Adversary has thrown at us through the centuries. But as our Lord promised, the gates of hell have not prevailed. Regardless of what the future may hold, the Orthodox Faith will remain like bedrock unto the Lord returns.
Now some may think that Orthodox Christianity is similar to Roman Catholicism. While there may be some external similarities, Roman Catholics and Protestants, with their now 30,000 denominations, are far closer to one another than they are to the Orthodox. While this may seem very wrong, Protestantism is a reaction to Roman Catholicism and as such, while they certainly have different beliefs and solutions, they have the same mindset.
Orthodoxy is quite different as it has resisted the temptation to be altered by the philosophy of the day through the centuries. Orthodoxy is what is and has been believed by everyone everywhere from the beginning. No change. No compromise. It is manly - men love it. It is not a soft faith. It challenges each believer. And no, it is not too much for women and children. Orthodoxy is beautiful, full of joy and light, gentleness and compassion.
The following was a letter to the Roman Emperor Hadrian (d.138AD) from the Athenian Orator Aristides in which he depicts how the Early Christians lived. This is how Christianity conquered the world. This is how it will do so again...
“The Christians know and trust God…They placate those who oppress them and make them their friends; they do good to their enemies. Their wives are absolutely pure, and their daughters modest. Their men abstain from unlawful marriage and are free from all impurity: If any of them have bondwomen or children, they persuade them to become Christians for the love they have toward them; and when they become so, they call them without distinction brothers…They love one another: They do not refuse to help the widows. They rescue the orphan from him who does him violence. He who has, gives ungrudgingly to him who has not. If they see a stranger; they take him to their dwellings and rejoice over him as over a real brother; for they do not call themselves brothers after the flesh, but after the Spirit and in God…If any one among them is poor and needy; and they do not have food to spare, they fast for two or three days, that they may supply him with necessary food. They scrupulously obey the commands of their Messiah. Every morning and every hour they thank and praise God for His loving-kindness toward them…Because of them there flows forth all the beauty that there is in the world. But the good deeds they do, they do not proclaim in the ears of the multitude, but they take care that no one shall perceive them. Thus they labor to become righteous…Truly, this is a new people and there is something divine in them.”
OUR NEW ADDRESS
Fr. Stephen, Priest
Brett Mourer, Warden
2198 NE Coachman Rd Unit D
Clearwater FL 33765